The Dragon*Con Boycott Part 6 – Situationally Exclusive Reasoning

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Dragon*Con, Entertainment, Life, News

Reference links can be found here –

BannerI’m starting to run into an interesting argument in various places. Some people resort to it when you knock the legs out from under their inaccurate statements on a specific topic with facts. Others acknowledge knowing the facts and then put this argument forward as though it’s supposed to make sense to anyone not wearing the anti-Dragon*Con blinders when looking at the argument being made. The argument is that Dragon*Con’s present owners are telling lies and trying to hide the fact that Kramer still holds shares in the company.

Yeah, I know. We’ve already addressed this. We’ve pointed out in Part 2 that you can find multiple instances of Dragon*Con spokespersons and Pat Henry himself flat out stating to various news sites that Kramer was still a shareholder as far back as 2002 and as recently as, prior to the court rulings bringing the news up again in 2012, 2009. There are even news stories from 2011 discussing the Kramer case that cite the 2009 quotes and reprint them. The facts put the lie to the claim that Dragon*Con has done everything that they could to hide that fact for the last 12 years or that they’ve lied about it until having to admit it after the 2012 ruling.

But when you present some people with facts that they don’t like, they either accept them grudgingly and simply change tactics or they engage in what I’ve long referred to as Situationally Exclusive Reasoning. Situationally Exclusive Reasoning is that fun thing that humans can do where they will demand that the argument that they’re presenting is reasonable, even logical, even if they would not deem it as such themselves if it were applied to any other like situation.

Apparently, many on the ant-Dragon*Con Crusade, and that’s really all it’s turning out to be at this point, absolutely excel at Situationally Exclusive Reasoning.

Here’s their argument.

The people running Dragon*Con now are liars and have been being deliberately disingenuous because they haven’t stated that Kramer is a shareholder in Dragon Con/Ace Inc. every single time that they’ve responded to the question of whether or not Kramer still had anything to do with the convention or when Kramer has been heavy in the news and that news cycle has been filled with headlines referring to Kramer as “Dragon*Con’s Founder” or some other line that, without disclaimers, makes it look as if Kramer was still active in the convention itself. Because, apparently, anyone connected with Dragon*Con has to say that Kramer still has shares even if the question has nothing to do with shares or who is or is not a shareholder.

Edward Kramer stepped down from having any official duties with Dragon*Con shortly after his arrest in 2000. He may even have unofficially handled a few details in the business through 2001 or 2002. Why not? He was still in that zone of only charged and innocent until proven guilty and had many people believing in his innocence at that time. But even unofficial duties were likely ending by 2002 and there’s certainly no way he was handling anything by the time the buyout pressure was on or when he started lawsuit threats and actual lawsuits.

So can we agree that he’s likely had nothing at all to do with the running of the convention, the handling of the business or even major decisions for the company in any way for about ten years? Good.

So Kramer has been gone for ten years. He still owns shares, but he hasn’t had anything to do with the running of the business or the management of the company for all of that time. So you decide to send them an email tomorrow and ask them if Kramer still has anything to do with Dragon*Con. They reply that, no, Ed Kramer has not had anything to do with Dragon*Con for ten years.

And you, being an anti-Dragon*Con Crusader and a master of Situationally Exclusive Reasoning run to the internet and declare far and wide that Dragon*Con is telling lies and that those liars are falsely claiming that Kramer has nothing to do with the convention he helped to build and ran for so many years because he still owns shares in the company. It’s pointed out to you that various Dragon*Con officials and spokespersons have actually stated that fact quite clearly and honestly themselves when asked about it on multiple occasions. Your response is then that they have to declare that fact every single time, even if whether or not Kramer still has shares or not is not actually the question put forward to them, or else they’re liars.

The thing is, you only want to hold Dragon*Con to this Bizarro World standard of logic and “honesty” that only you insist makes any sense at all. And I can point out a pretty specific example of why you would look foolish to even your own selves if you tried to insist that this argument made any sense with anyone else or anywhere else.

Michael Eisner.

Michael Eisner ran Disney for twenty-one years. He reshaped the company, created new policy, gave the company new direction and increased the profits that the business was bringing in by increasing revenue from $1.5 billion in 1984 to $30.75 billion in 2004. For twenty-one years he was the vision that grew and strengthened the Disney brand.

Despite all of that, after a shareholder revolt and a bitter rivalry between Eisner and Roy E. Disney, Eisner quasi-voluntary resigned and left the company in 2005. He walked out the door with some $1 billion in bonuses, shares and, stay with me here, stock options. He then moved on to other pastures entirely and left Disney behind.

Let me throw a simple scenario at you. Someone you know sends an email to Disney tomorrow asking them if Michael Eisner still has anything to do with Disney. They respond and tell your friend that, no, Michael Eisner has nothing whatsoever to do with Disney. He may have run the company for twenty-one years, but he left seven years ago and has nothing whatsoever to do with running the company now, making decisions, planning projects or figuring out how to exploit new markets.

Your friend then runs to the internet and declares that all the Disney people are liars. Why are they liars? Because they said that he has nothing to do with running the company, making decisions, planning projects or figuring out how to exploit new markets but totally failed to mention that he still has shares in Disney. Your friend then explains at length that, despite this bit of information being public record, Disney lied and is trying to hide the fact that Michael Eisner still profits from Disney’s success.

I dare say that you would think your friend to be just a wee bit goofy at this point and you would likely be asking your friend what illegal substances they’ve been consuming that day that allowed them to think that this made any sense at all.

But it’s certainly the same thing. The man may still own shares in the company, but he has zero to do with the business. He may still profit from the company, but he in no way handles the first decision with regards to anything to do with the business. The closest Disney related decision he makes these days is whether or not to buy a ticket or a DVD for a Disney product.

But you want to insist that the people running Dragon*Con right now are liars or being disingenuous because they stated that Edward Kramer has nothing to do Dragon*Con in any way related to the business but didn’t then add, even if they weren’t specifically asked, that he still had shares in Dragon Con/Ace Inc. every single time they’ve addressed the question. You want to claim that they’re liars because, despite the fact that they did state publicly over the years that Kramer was still a shareholder, they didn’t say that he was a shareholder every time someone asked if he had anything to so with the convention itself. Right…

Wait… I see that objection. The legs are getting knocked out from under one of your favorite talking points and you’re grasping at straws for a way to save it. Yes, you say, but Kramer was one of Dragon*Con’s founders. He, unlike Michael Eisner, was there at the beginning. It’s a completely irrelevant point and objection, but I can see some of you grasping for it even now.


Eduardo Saverin.

Come on, you saw The Social Network. He was there at the beginning of Facebook. He helped get it started. There was a lawsuit that was settled with his being listed as a cofounder of Facebook and he owns shares worth, at last look, a little over a buttload of cash.

But he does diddly-squat with regards to the day to day running of the business or making decisions in the business of Facebook. He just owns shares in the company.

Let me throw a simple scenario at you. Someone you know sends an email to Facebook tomorrow asking them if Eduardo Saverin still has anything to do with Facebook. They respond and tell your friend that, no, Eduardo Saverin has nothing whatsoever to do with…

Okay. We’ll save bandwidth here. You get the idea. And, hell, I’ll do you one better.

You turn on the TV tomorrow morning and there’s good old Eduardo Saverin in all his glory claiming to be a part of Facebook now and talking like he’s connected to the business operation itself rather than just a shareholder in the company despite not a single thing having changed. And then, along about lunchtime, you see Michael Eisner on the TV talking up the Disney Star Wars films coming out and acting like he was in some way responsible for that by having something to do with the day to day running of Disney and talking like he was a part of the business operations even though you knew that he had nothing to do with them other than still having some shares from when he left the company seven years ago.

You’d likely think both men were nuts or liars.

But that Bizarro World version of reality is how you want everyone else to see Ed Kramer.

Situationally Exclusive Reasoning. You want the people running Dragon*Con to be liars, so you’ll come up with “logic” and “reasoning” that you’d only apply here. Apply it to anything else that you don’t have a stake in being “right” about and even you would think it looks foolish. But still you’ll insist that it’s “right” and you’re “right” in this specific situation because, well, you want it to be so if only exclusively for this situation.

Forgive the rest of us for not going along with it. Forgive us if we think you’re full of it when Man A, who you have no beef with, says that the sky is blue and you agree with him and then, one minute later, Man B, who you want to have a beef with, says that the sky is blue and you call him a liar because the sky is actually light blue in color with shades of reddish pink at the one edge and, hey, clouds are a part of the sky and they’re white with bright pink highlights this time of day and…

Your argument, your ranting and your stand on this are based on nothing more than the desire to be right and not actually you being right. You’re engaging in Situationally Exclusive Reasoning at its worst. You’re demanding that everyone else accept a faulty argument here that no one, likely including you, would accept anywhere else as reasonable or logical.

No. Not gonna do it. Your argument is worthless. It’s bogus. It’s a joke.

You really only have two options here. You can admit that it’s bogus and a joke and drop the silly games or you can continue to claim that your argument isn’t dumb as a post and basically show anyone bothering to actually look at the facts that all you care about is being able to attack Dragon*Con and the people now running it no matter how fact free your “facts” or illogical your reasoning is. That’s pretty much your only two choices here.

At some point, you have to accept the fact that the statements being made in support of the boycott are demonstrably untrue and proven so with facts and links and that much of the logic and reasoning behind your arguments falls flatter than a pancake with only the slightest bit of thought placed against them. At that point you can just come clean on the deal. This isn’t about Kramer facing justice. This isn’t about caring for the victims. This is for many of you just about attacking Dragon*Con and doing a little ax grinding.

Hey, you might as well start being honest about something in this at some point or another. Why not start now?

  1. Mike says:

    Well reasoned. Eisner is an excellent example.

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